Premenstrual Syndrome


CONDITIONS

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome, commonly referred to as PMS, refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur anywhere from several days to two weeks prior to a woman’s period. The symptoms appear with every cycle and are often severe enough to limit a woman’s day-to-day activities while negatively affecting her mood and emotions. About three-quarters of all women in their childbearing years are affected by PMS, which may manifest itself in everything from food cravings to sudden crying episodes, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, sleeping difficulties, mood swings, constipation and more. The most likely cause of these symptoms is fluctuating levels of the estrogen and progesterone hormones. However, factors that may contribute to more severe PMS symptoms include eating foods that are high in salt content (which promotes fluid retention), not getting the correct balance of vitamins and minerals and consuming alcohol or caffeine. Your physician can help you manage your PMS symptoms by recommending an appropriate diet and exercise program and/or prescribing antidepressant, NSAID, diuretic and contraceptive medications.
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